A HIGH-SCORING match against attack-minded Fylde is expected at The Northern Echo Arena today, when Darlington Mowden Park hope for a good crowd for their annual Ladies Day.

Fylde have been heavily hit by injuries recently and have slipped to fourth bottom, having been ahead of Mowden when the Lancashire club won the home fixture 31-25 four months ago.

Mowden recall Darren Fearn at loose head for Jack Payne and Josh Williams comes into the second row with Joe Craggs at blind side as Simon Uzokwe remains with England Students.

Loading article content

Dual-registered Yorkshire Carnegie player Brandon Staples returns at No 8 with Rory Duff dropping to the bench.

Lithuanian international prop Ignas Darkintis, who is again on the bench, has become the 13th player to commit to Mowden ahead of next season.

Director of Rugby Danny Brown said: “We’re delighted to re-sign Ignas. Following his first full season last year, he has added a lot of experience to the squad. He’s had a few injuries, but he’s come back strongly and we look forward to seeing his impact in our remaining games.”

Darkintis, 28, who has played 15 times for his country, said: “I am excited to sign for next season as club has retained some good players. I’ve managed to make some great friends here.”

Blaydon, now second bottom, face a must-win game at Cambridge, who are three places above them and need one point to be mathematically certain of avoiding relegation.

Almost certainly needing two wins from the last three games, Blaydon are without experienced hooker Matt Thompson, who is away on holiday, plus dual-registered Newcastle lock Andrew Davidson.

He has a shoulder injury and is replaced by Andrew Archibald, while Cameron Bell comes in for Thompson.

Scrum half Ruaridh Dawson makes his first appearance since being injured during the reverse fixture. Blaydon were leading Cambridge 14-0 when he went off but lost 17-14.

Brett Connon returns at fly half, Ben Stevenson switches to centre with Ryan Foreman at full back, and Andrew Baggett drops to the bench.

James Cooney is ruled out by a dead leg, suffered while captaining Durham Under 20s to the national semi-final, in which they visit Kent on Easter Sunday.

That involves another long trek after their 31-25 win against North Midlands at Luctonians, which followed another narrow victory over Yorkshire, who have been regular winners of this competition.

Billingham restore Peter Evans to the fly half role for the National Three North match at Kendal, with his brother Joe at centre.

West Hartlepool are without suspended Ryan Painter, back row man Aaron Myers and winger Rob Thorn for the trip to Dinnington in North One East.

Matt Siddle comes in at scrum half and Sam Miller could be fit to return at No 8 as West look to stay ahead of Penrith, who entertain Bradford and Bingley, in the battle for the promotion play-off place.

Durham City should end their run of eight defeats at home to relegated Guisborough, but still look doomed as the only club they can overhaul, Dinnington, play winless Wheatley Hills in the final game.

Northern can make sure of the Durham and Northumberland One title by winning at home to second bottom Hartlepool, while second-placed Barnard Castle visit Stockton.

Westoe, challenging strongly for the promotion play-off place, are away to Middlesbrough, who have won their last five games.

Boro, who are staging a players' reunion lunch, will again have Andy Micklewright at fly half and Connor Foley alongside Peter Homan at centre.